Kindergarten Readiness



The thought of sending your little one to kindergarten can be such a stressful and emotional time for both you and your child. You may be wondering if your child is ready for kindergarten, or how you can help prepare them for this exciting milestone. Fortunately, there are so many things that you can be doing (and probably already have been doing) to help prepare your little one for the big day.

Alphabet Recognition

It is very important to teach uppercase and lowercase letter formation. One of the most difficult habits to break as a teacher is students who write in all capital letters. Teach your child when and how to use them. Here are some great activities for learning about the letters of the alphabet.

Number Recognition 0-10

Similar to the alphabet, expose your child to numbers daily. This can involve absolutely no prep what-so-ever. You can have your child count how many dogs her or she see or how many kids are in music class today. When you are cooking dinner, ask him or her to get four forks from the drawer or when playing at the park, ask your child to find seven rocks.

Here are some great sensory activities:

  • Form numbers using Play-Doh, Wikki Stix, shaving cream, and/or chalk.
  • Use beads, rocks, cars, etc., and have your child count out a specific number. Encourage your child to touch the objects as he or she says the number to help better understand one-to-one correspondence.
  • Listen to songs about numbers (Jack Hartmann has great math songs.)
  • Watch videos about numbers. (Numberland and Meet the Numbers are my favorite.)
  • Play computer games about numbers. (Again, Starfall is a great place to start.)
  • Read books about numbers.


  • Have your child know how to write his or her first and last name, as well as know your address and phone number.
  • Ask your child write stories or dictate stories to you, and you write them out. You can then encourage your child to illustrate the story.
  • Like mentioned above, have your child practice writing the letters of the alphabet and numbers (definitely 0-10 and even higher if you think that is developmentally appropriate). There are so many free letter and number tracing and writing pages online. Find one that works for your child. You can even laminate the pages and have your child use a vis-a-vie marker to fill out the pages.

Colors and Shapes Recognition

  • Watch videos about colors and shapes. (Preschool Prep is my favorite.)
  • Ask your child what shapes and colors things are that you see throughout your house or when you are out and about.
  • Draw shapes on paper and have your child trace over them with crayons or markers.
  • Encourage your child cut out shapes and colors from magazines. Have him or her sort by shapes and colors too.

Reading to Your Child

This is one of the most beneficial things you can do with your child to help set up him or her for success. This will provide a special time together.

  • Read at least 20 minutes per day to your child.
  • When reading, use your finger to highlight each word as you read it. This will help your child correlate what you are saying to what he or she sees.
  • Encourage your child to hold the book as your read and turn the pages.

Fine Motor Skills

  • Ask your child cut out various pictures or even draw lines on a page (zigzag, straight, wavy) and have him or her cut it out. He or she can also cut out images from a magazine or newspaper.
  • Encourage your child explore with crayons, markers, and paintbrushes. Encourage him or her to draw or paint pictures.
  • Model for your child how to grab, scoop, tweeze, and drop with these Fine Motor Tools. Fill one plastic tub with beads, water, pom poms, etc. and encourage your child to pick a tool to transfer the given objects into the empty tub.


Teaching your child the importance of independence is such an important task to master to better prepare him or her for kindergarten.

  • Encourage your child to dress him or herself and put on a coat.
  • Teach your child how to zip coats and pants.
  • Teach your child how to tie shoes. Click {here} for a great video on how to tie shoes.
  • It is also best to encourage your child to play independently for a set amount of time, preferably completing a given task, such as completing a puzzle or reading a book.
  • Ask your child questions and give your child multi-step tasks to complete. (For example, can you please get four forks and plates, and set the table.)

Free Play

  • Provide your child with time for free play, free of the television.
  • Encourage your child to pretend play. Learning to use imagination is an important part of learning.
  • Give your child random things from the house (toilet paper rolls, scissors, paint, markers, etc.) and let creativity blossom.

I want to reiterate the simple fact that there is not a single factor that determines whether or not your child is ready for kindergarten. It is so important to look at your child as a whole. Most will not know everything on this list, and that is completely fine. As a former kindergarten teacher, I had students with a wide range of abilities from day one, and honestly, that continued on for the remainder of the year. The good news is that students thrive in the classroom and will quickly learn the concepts they have not mastered, along with many new concepts. I hope this list serves as a great tool in helping you work with your child(ren) at home.


  1. Fabulous list!! Thanks for posting!
    Definitely sharing with “the masses”! 🙂

    -18 year “veteran” kindergarten teacher 🙂


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